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326   DAYS OF PREPARATION

Both regiments claimed the honour of making the assault, and Colonel Farquhar won out.

It will be advisable to deal with the assault in detail as it was the first trench raid in which the Canadian Army took part, and it was subsequently to become a mode of warfare which in General French's Army was recognized as typically Canadian, calling as it did for individual courage and initiative. Details were entrusted to Colonel Farquhar while the regiment was in rest quarters at Westoutre. On Saturday, February 27th, the Patricia's returned to Dickebusch and the reconnaissance programme was carried out by Major Gault and Lieutenant Colquhoun, a point of attack determined and a way found through the Huns' wire entanglements. Twenty-five men selected from Colquhoun's snipers and Lieutenant Colville Eyre Crabbe's 13th Platoon, were to wriggle their way through the mud until within striking distance of the enemy position and then rush it at the bayonet point. If their attack succeeded a small party of the regiment under Lieutenant Talbot M. Papineau, with slung rifles and armed with picks, shovels, and explosives, would immediately swarm across No Man's Land and proceed to demolish the entire trench and sap, and as soon as this was effected would return by the shortest route to their own trenches and there prepare to meet the counter-attack which was almost sure to follow.

Immediately night set in, the regiment paraded in the main street of the little village of Dickebusch and proceeded to its appointed place via Voormezeele. Lieutenant Crabbe and thirteen men of the 13th Platoon lay in third line dugouts while the snipers under Corporal Ross occupied their own cellar rendezvous at the inn at St. Eloi. Promptly on schedule time, the two officers, accompanied part of the way by Corporal Ross, set out upon their dangerous mission. As long as possible—in fact it was after five o'clock before Col. Farquhar gave the word to Corporal Ross to lead the attack—the handful of snipers, then three bomb experts borrowed for the


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